Best electric cars for 2021

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, and with more choice available. Here are the best models you’ll see on the roads in 2022

Joe Holding
Jan 17, 2022

The early 2020s has seen a massive increase in the adoption of electric cars, with over 200,000 EVs registered in the UK in 2020 alone - over double that of the year before it. In 2021, nearly 400,000 were registered, doubling the figure once again.

2022 electric car sales show no sign of bucking this trend, with the UK’s charging infrastructure continually expanding, more electric vehicles for sale than ever before and even more new electric cars to be released through the year. The greater choice of EVs will make it easier to find one that’s to anyone’s taste, boosting sales further.

Interest in electric cars has spiked as drivers recognise the benefits of going electric - running costs are much lower and you don’t depend on ever fluctuating petrol and diesel prices. No engine noise makes driving an EV very relaxing and instant acceleration with no gears to worry about adds to the appeal.

Zero tailpipe emissions means you’re not polluting the local environment, which is good peace of mind. In areas with clean air zones like London’s ULEZ where all EVs are exempt from charges, it’s a direct benefit.

Another reason people are switching to EVs is availability; with ever more in showrooms, buyers are finding exactly what they’re looking for in a versatile electric car. They now come in diverse body styles and sizes, as opposed to the niche that EVs used to only appeal to.

If you fancy taking the leap into EV ownership, there are some brilliant affordable used models on BuyaCar, so you don't have to pay new car prices - check out what's available right now by clicking on the button above. If you want to know more about the latest EVs we’ve picked out eight key electric cars you can buy new in 2022.

Best electric cars due in 2021

1. Citroen e-C4

Used deals from £26,990
Monthly finance from £374*
Range
up to 217 miles

The Citroen e-C4 came out in 2021 and is offered alongside petrol and diesel versions of the same car that don’t carry that ‘e’ moniker. Prices have been revised for 2022 and start from £28,495 (a figure that includes the Government’s £2,500 discount for buying a zero-emission vehicle). The base model, originally known as the ‘Sense’ was originally only available as a petrol or diesel, but now includes the electric option.

The e-C4 comes with a 50kWh battery that delivers up to 217 miles of range on a full charge. A 136hp electric motor drives the front wheels, with 0-62mph said to take a very respectable 9.7 seconds.

The top speed of 93mph is nothing to shout about, but law-abiding drivers will never go that fast anyway. Charging times vary depending on the device you use to charge, but a 100kW fast charger (the kind you’ll find at many service stations) will give you an 80% top-up in half an hour. If you have a 7kW charging unit installed at home, a full charge should take around seven hours; comfortably quick enough to be fully replenished when plugged in overnight.

MORE DETAILS ON THE NEW CITROEN C4

2. Cupra Born

On the road price £33,680
Range up to 335 miles

Most of the electric cars brought to market so far have been family vehicles, but it’s easy to forget that electric motors can be immensely powerful. This means we’ll be seeing lots of electric performance cars before long, and the Cupra Born is set to become one of the first electric hot hatchbacks.

Unfortunately, recent changes to the government’s EV grant cap mean that, as the Born isn’t available for under £32,000, it won’t be eligible for the £2,500 discount. Worry not, however, as a cheaper version is in the works which will hopefully allow you to take advantage of the grant.

Most models come with a powerful 204hp electric motor and 58kWh battery, which will do 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and up to 263 miles on a charge. Cupra is likely to offer other combinations, too. Sharing many of its components with the Volkswagen ID.3 and other Volkswagen Group electric cars, we can expect a larger battery to be available with well over 300 miles of range on a full charge.

MORE DETAILS ON THE CUPRA EL-BORN

3. Dacia Spring

On the road price TBC
Range up to 143 miles

The main barrier to buying an electric car at the moment is that, when compared to petrol and diesel alternatives, purchase prices are very high indeed. A decision is due in 2022 on whether Europe’s cheapest electric car, the Dacia Spring, will be released in the UK. If it is, the Spring will be a significant car for the electric revolution, given its affordability.

Abroad, the Spring undercuts the current cheapest electric car on sale, so it should be priced lower than the £19,800 Seat Mii Electric. Measuring 3.7m long and 1.6m wide it’s barely bigger than the Volkswagen Up, putting it firmly in the city car sector even if the bulbous looks have more in common with typical SUVs and crossovers.

The Dacia Spring has a tiny 44hp electric motor which isn’t very fast. However the 26.8kWh battery has a range of up to 143 miles under test conditions - possibly even more if you stick to the kind of urban environment the car is designed for.

A 7kW home charger should top up the battery fully in around four hours, but if you’ve only got a normal three-pin plug to use then it could take three times longer than this. The Dacia Spring is fairly practical too, with 300 litres of boot space, which is well above average for this type of car.

4. Mercedes EQA

Used deals from £45,845
Monthly finance from £681*
Range
up to 268 miles

The Mercedes EQA is a new electric crossover that sits alongside the existing EQC SUV in Mercedes’ electric car lineup. Other recently released electric siblings include the Mercedes EQB compact SUV and EQS saloon.

The EQA offers a range of up to 268 miles with its two more powerful, four-wheel-drive electric motor options; the 228hp EQA 300 and the 292hp EQA 350. The cheaper 190hp EQA 250 only falls short by a couple of miles.

The interior of the EQA is a nice place to be and feels very high-tech. In 2022, the EQA will likely be a popular luxury EV option as it offers good value for money for a car in its segment, despite missing out on the government grant.

A 100kW charger delivers an 80% top-up in 37 minutes, but if you plug in at home using a dedicated wallbox, expect a full charge to take more than nine hours.

MORE DETAILS ON THE MERCEDES EQA

5. Nissan Ariya

On the road price £41,845
Range up to 310 miles

The Nissan Leaf is one of the best-selling electric cars of all time, so the Japanese company’s new electric SUV is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Nissan Ariya deliveries will start in summer 2022, with a number of different versions available, designed to help you prioritise range or performance.

The most basic Ariya will produce 217hp and cover 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, with a 63kWh battery returning 233 miles of range. The next model up comes with an 87kWh battery (upping range to 310 miles) and a more powerful, 242hp electric motor.

The top-of-the-range car will be the Performance variant; it too uses an 87kWh battery, although range falls to 248 miles. Why? An extra motor adds weight, which requires energy to move, but ups power to a mighty 394hp. This version is expected to smash the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.1 seconds. A slightly less powerful four-wheel-drive variant will be available with 306hp.

Charging times will vary depending on battery size, but more expensive models will unlock higher peak charging rates. Nissan says up to 130kW charging is supported, which equates to around 230 miles of range in just over 30 minutes.

MORE DETAILS ON THE NISSAN ARIYA

6. Skoda Enyaq

Used deals from £35,990
Monthly finance from £500*
Range
up to 330 miles

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the Skoda Enyaq SUV, thanks in part to its bold design and the striking LED-backlit grille that is standard on high-end models. The Enyaq will be Skoda’s first bespoke electric car, and it will use the same platform that’s set to feature in every electric car due to be built by Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda over the next few years.

Two versions are offered; the cheaper iV 60 will achieve 260 miles of range with a 62kWh battery, while a 179hp electric motor will provide front-wheel drive and propel it from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds.

Meanwhile, the iV 80 has an 82kWh battery offering 316 miles of range. A larger, 204hp electric motor sits at the back for rear-wheel drive, and it’s 0.2 seconds faster than the iV 60 over the 0-62mph sprint. A four-wheel drive Enyaq (called the 80x) has also been introduced, and a performance-focused vRS edition will come soon, likely sharing parts with the VW ID.4 GTX.

7. Vauxhall Mokka-e

Used deals from £30,100
Monthly finance from £437*
Range
up to 209 miles

The Vauxhall Mokka-e SUV went on sale late in 2020, and cars started to appear on UK roads until spring 2021. Much like the Vauxhall Corsa-e supermini, the Mokka-e houses a 50kWh battery with a 136hp electric motor driving the front wheels. As the Mokka-e is larger than the Corsa-e, the quoted range isn’t quite as plentiful at 209 miles, however charging times are identical; Vauxhall says an 80% top-up should take just half an hour when plugged into a 100kW charging station.

Prices start from £29,365, and four trim levels are offered; SE Nav Premium, SRi Nav Premium and Elite Nav Premium. Standard features on the most basic car include a seven-inch touchscreen media system, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a reversing camera, among other things.

Inside, the quality of the interior is noticeably better than that of the previous-generation, non-electric Mokka. The materials feel more upmarket, and the instrument display behind the steering wheel consists of a 12-inch digital screen for a more modern look.

MORE DETAILS ON THE NEW VAUXHALL MOKKA

8. Volkswagen ID.4

Used deals from £36,779
Monthly finance from £548*
Range
up to 320 miles

Volkwagen’s larger ID.4 electric SUV is very good, especially as it sits on the same platform as the smaller ID.3. A 77kWh battery was offered on the ID.4 when it launched in 2021, and a 52kWh followed to join the line up. These will return 323 miles and around 210 miles of range respectively.

On models with the larger battery, power come from a 204hp electric motor offering rear-wheel drive and a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds. Models with the smaller 52kWh battery come with a less powerful 148hp motor which does 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds. A 174hp motor completes the two-wheel-drive lineup.

The GTX model is four-wheel drive, with a pair of motors totalling 299hp propelling it from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. Top-spec models are capable of 125kW charging speeds if you can find a fast enough charger, meaning you could add 199 miles of range at a public charging point in just half an hour.

Inside, the ID.4 is very spacious, with the clever packaging of the car affording very generous headroom and legroom. The interior is similar to that of the ID.3, although a little more upmarket.

 

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